Last Updated on January 20, 2023
Ivan Provorov’s Philadelphia Flyers jersey has sold out online at both the NHL Shop and Fanatics — two of the largest vendors for hockey jerseys — following his refusal to participate in a team pride night activity. Provorov, 26, cited his Russian Orthodox faith and opted not to participate in a pre-game warm-up that featured gay pride-themed jerseys.
Provorov’s decision not to wear the jersey made him a target for a number of high-profile hockey journalists and sports media outlets, including editors from the ESPN-owned SB Nation and The Athletic.
One NHL network journalist, EJ Hradek, said that Provorov can simply “leave” and return to his native Russia if he has a problem with participating in the event. Hradek even suggested that Provorov should enlist in the Russian army and fight in Ukraine if he feels so strongly.
“Get on a plane” and “get involved” in the war in Ukraine, Hradek said this past Tuesday.
Canadian news anchor Sid Seixeiro said the Flyers should be fined $1 million for Provorov’s decision. He then proceeded to bash religious people in a lengthy tirade.
“Nothing scares me more than any human being who says ‘I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs’ because when you look at people’s lives who normally say that publicly you’d throw up at what you saw,” Seixeiro said while pounding his fists on his desk.
Thought experiment for @Sid_Seixeiro: since “Hockey is for everyone”, let’s have a Christian appreciation night. Every NHL player & employee MUST wear a cross on their uniforms. Anyone who won’t will be deemed Christophobic, full of hate, canceled & fined a million $. Deal? pic.twitter.com/sstdc46ZNm
— Brett Craig (@bac37) January 19, 2023
While media backlash against Provorov has been heavy, he has largely enjoyed messages of encouragement and support from the majority of fans and those in support of religious freedom.
He also received an endorsement from his coach, John Tortorella, who defended his right to not participate in order to adhere to his religious beliefs. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision doesn’t mean he did anything wrong,” Tortorella said during a press conference earlier this week.
In another sign of support for Provorov, his Philadelphia Flyers jersey has sold out online in both the NHL store and Fanatics, two of the largest hockey jersey retailers.